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Non-Prog CD Reviews

3 Years Hollow

The Cracks

Review by Gary Hill

This band hails from my home state of Illinois. This album shows that they are quite talented. The disc they’ve produced is right up there with the best of them. It’s just that the style of music they do (hard edged, aggressive yet melodic rock) is one of the more generic sounds these days. It seems that so many bands do that style and most of them sound very much alike. These guys suffer from that.The main thing that keeps this interesting is the vocals. They are well beyond their peers in terms of emotional and powerful singing. Still, the lack of originality (which is a trademark of this type of music) and the overall similarity from song to song keeps these guys from really standing out much. I hope they can develop a more original sound because these guys are great and deserve to stand out.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
The Devil's Slave

There is almost a modern take on glam rock and this opens. We’re taken into a mainstream modern hard rock sound. This is the kind of stuff that leans along the line of nu-metal. It’s not all that original, but it’s very well done. Also, the guitar solo on this is really quite meaty and has a more original sound.

Chemical Ride
A hard rocking tune, this is a bit stronger than the opener. It’s just got a bit of a meaner tone to it. It’s still not the most original thing around, but it’s exceptionally well done.
For Life (Featuring Clint Lowery)
With a guest appearance by Clint Lowery of Sevendust fame, one might expect this to sound like that act. It kind of does. This feels angry. It’s much harder rocking even than the last number. Still, the chorus features melodic vocals. This is the best song of the opening three.
The Cracks
Although there are no big changes here, this melodic hard rocker is very tasty. It’s got some of the most accessible hooks of the set and just plain rocks.
This is much more of a metal tune than anything we’ve heard today. It is a real screamer in a lot of ways. It’s one of my favorites here.
Taken By All
A melodic hard rocker, this lands near nu-metal. It gets pretty heavy, really. What it lacks in originality it more than makes up for in just plain class.
Aggressive and metallic, this is another screamer. It’s also another of the highlights here.
Run Away
Here’s another that’s quite aggressive and metallic. It’s got some more rock and roll (versus metal) vocals and some melodic ones.
We Belong
There is a melodic mellower section on this song. That’s some much needed variety. Overall, though, this piece is more of the same. It’s good, but the formula is wearing a little thin.
Take the World
This one lands more in the hook laden, melodic end of the spectrum. Sure, it’s still aggressive and crunchy. The thing is, that change of balance helps this one to avoid the monolithic trap that’s becoming a problem here. This is actually one of the stronger tunes of the disc.
This is another aggressive powerhouse. The vocal line is what saves this from landing into a “too similar” to the rest bin.
Remember (Remastered)
The formula is definitely stretched by now. This song by itself is really strong. There’s just too much similarity to everything else here to let it stand on its own and shine.
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